COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY

How could full FDA vaccine approval impact the economy and unemployment?

Pfizer and BioNTech’s covid-19 has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Could this have a major impact on the country’s economic recovery?

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How could full FDA vaccine approval impact the economy and unemployment?
JIM WATSON AFP

Pfizer and BionNTech’s vaccines represent fifty-six percent of all covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the United States. On 23 August, after receiving Emergency Use Authorization in November 2020, the Pfizer/BionNTech vaccine was fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D, described how the approval represents "a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Woodcock noted that all other vaccines being administrated "have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,”

Will the approval make a difference?

About a year ago, in an interview with the New York Times, Dr. Jared Baeten, an epidemiologist and vice dean at the University of Washington School of Public Health, said that “As an American, I think there is a lot of good to be said about our libertarian tradition.”

However, it is this traditional, matched with our favoritism of individualism over communalism, that has a consequence: “we don’t succeed as well as a collective.”

With deaths spiking after a brutal fifth wave, federal officials can only do much to limit the fallout.

During a press conference with the White House Coronavirus Coronavirus, Jeffrey Zients spoke to the feeling of many “Americans who have been waiting for the FDA process to be completed before getting a shot.” He continued by saying, that “For those Americans, the wait is over. Now is the time to join the more than 200 million Americans who have already rolled up their sleeve and gotten vaccinated.”

Some employers were waiting for the vaccine to be approved to implement a vaccine mandate for their staff. In remarks made by the President on 23 August, he urged, "business leader, a non-profit leader, a state or local leader," who have been waiting for the approval to implement a vaccine mandate, that it was now time.

The comments of Mr. Zients and other public health officials aim to increase confidence, which is one of the only actions federal officials can take. While they hope authorization could sway people on the fence, this milestone is more symbolic than anything else.

As of 24 August, 60.9 percent of the population is at least partially vaccinated. A little over 51 percent is fully vaccinated. Fueled by fears over the Delta variant, more people are getting their shots. Demand for vaccines is up around 70 percent compared to mid-to-late July.

How can vaccination assist in the economic recovery?

Vaccination is currently the best way to safely protect people against the virus, thus allowing them to return to some aspects of normal life.

Schools get set to reopen their doors to students

Many school districts around the county have or will reopen schools this Fall. This is possible, in many ways, thanks to vaccinations.

With teachers, staff, and older students vaccinated, returning to the physical classroom brings a sense of security to those vulnerable to the virus.

With children back in schools, parents need not worry about the extremely challenging balancing act of educating and taking care of their children while also working—this situation, with households led by single moms, barring the brunt.

Recent data from the Household Pulse Survey, conducted by the US Census Bureau, shows that a little over one in ten non-retirees reported not working because they are taking care of children. This figure has actually increased over repones from the survey taken about a year ago.

As we move closer into the fall, this number should drop as more children return to the classroom. Nevertheless, this indicator should be tracked to understand the plight of working parents better.